In Baker Street, Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade were just finishing a toast to the end of their Crime Machine case and to the detective's restoration to his new-old residence, when something unexpected happened. Though he had just been invited to live at 221B with Holmes, Watson nevertheless started to depart the rooms once more.
"Where are you going now?" Holmes called after him.
Watson turned at the door. "To pack my things to come live with you, of course."
"What things?" Lestrade asked, surprised as well. Watson was ever unpredictable now that he had acquired his personality.
"I am not totally without possessions, my dear young lady," Watson answered with a remarkably authentic throat-clearing sound. Then his tone became more gracious. "Do you wish to assist me in my task?"
"Yes!" she came forward, looking playful and knowing. She now suspected that Watson had a similar secret surprise in store as he had earlier, when furtively whispering his request for an elasto mask into her ear. At the time, Lestrade had been telling Holmes of the plans to move him to the old Sherlock Holmes Museum in Baker Street, so Watson had taken the opportunity to make his request and slip out the door before Holmes could protest.
Fondly recalling how Watson's new appearance tonight had delightfully surprised Holmes, Lestrade felt glad to have helped the two of them further bond. Holmes had genuinely grown fond of Watson now, it seemed, despite his initial disdain for the compudroid; Lestrade found it adorable, in a way. Thus she remained just as happy to participate in another secret with Watson, as she had been to conveniently scuttle Holmes away to pack his few belongings from Lestrade's place, before going on to Baker Street. "Scotland Yard, then?" she ventured.
"Other places, as well," Watson said vaguely.
Lestrade grinned. "Ah, then we'd better get going!"
"Excellent," Watson murmured. He turned. "Wait here, Holmes."
So Holmes waited, for hours. He felt a bit puzzled to be abandoned so immediately, but Holmes was willing to humour Watson in whatever surprise he intended to bring home. It was most likely something whimsical or sentimental. Perhaps there were more things to be obtained from the Yard beyond that hat and mask.
In the mean time, Holmes busied himself inspecting the rooms that had once been a museum in his honour. His critical eye quickly found certain distinct faults. So many years away from Baker Street, and all the furniture had gotten terribly displaced! Holmes sighed and shook his head at the theories that must have gone through the minds of the curators to this Museum. Worse still, the Yard had even had several items of modern communications technology dropped off at the Museum, once arrangements for Holmes's move had been made. The equipment was absurdly out of place among the Victorian furnishings. Holmes attempted camouflaging such items as well as he could, and otherwise duly rearranged everything as it had been long ago.
He checked Watson's room as well, finding it strangely bare, as if Watson's possessions had proved to be a mystery to the curators. Watson never did provide enough consistent details about himself to the public, did he? Holmes hurriedly did his best to set things right, somehow feeling anxiously concerned that there should be enough familiar comforts of home awaiting Watson tonight.
--Home. He halted in his tracks. Home? Uncomfortably, Holmes realised the absurdity and illogic of his thoughts. Familiar comforts of home? What on earth were comforts for a compudroid--a machine? Holmes shook his head. What was he thinking? He frowned, looking at the room around him. After all this trouble, what would Watson even need of this room, really? Would Watson even need the bed in order to "go offline" as he said?
Holmes sighed, sitting on the bed. He realised how over-eager he had been to ask Watson to come live with him. Though he now accepted Watson for a friend, Holmes must not carry the association too far. Reality was reality. At the end of every day, Holmes must still recogise the truth. This Watson was not his Watson.
Watson finally returned to Baker Street with a great deal of baggage. Holmes helped him with it, finding that it mostly consisted of books. Watson's journals and chronicles from two centuries ago, no doubt from Lestrade's collection, plus a library of the original Watson's favourite pleasure reading, newly adorned the bookshelves. There were numerous articles of clothing, also. Then a strange stringed and keyed contraption that Watson presented to Holmes as a gift.
"It's a musical instrument. There is no Stradivarius available for you, and I hope that you might like to play this."
Watson placed the instrument in Holmes's hands. Reaching around him, Watson showed Holmes how to play a simple tune.
"This is... odd."
Nodding, Watson unpacked another of his items. "Here is a manual, if you would like to teach yourself in detail. It will be a challenge."
"I--yes, a challenge." Holmes accepted it now with the realisation of what Watson meant by it. A fitting homecoming gift, indeed. "I have nothing to give you."
Watson smiled. "You have given me a home." He returned to his bedroom to further sort and unpack his belongings.
Holmes looked at the array of Watson's paraphernalia, realising that all these things must have been as recently acquired as the last several hours, with Lestrade's help; all chosen to suit his personality and destination. Holmes blinked, biting his lip. Treading this subtle line with Watson would also be a challenge. Holmes rose and stood at Watson's door, inquiring, "Shall I help you?"
"No." Watson moved as if to hide something. "You should go change now. Relax into your dressing-gown. You are at home now."
"As are you. Yet you still wear your hat."
"So do you."
Holmes looked up at his ridiculous deerstalker, grimacing and thrusting it down irritably. He muttered about illustrations under his breath and ran his hand through his hair, exiting.
Holmes retreated and sat within his own room, examining himself in the mirror distastefully. No, he did not quite like being so young, nor forced to play a role in a body which was not yet worn well, to an age of comfort and imperturbability. Holmes had died as an old man, not as this strange, unripe youth to which he had awoken. There were definitely things to be said for maturity.
Holmes closed his eyes, remembering how he had matured, the first time. More than two centuries ago, he had moved from his Bohemian twenties of unbridled arrogance against authority and his health, to his mellowed thirties of sober clarity, calmed without his drugs and without his being a law unto himself. Calmed by the tender devotion of a much-missed, patient angel of mercy. Holmes shook his head. Wasn't it absurd how some people, then and now, obliviously thought to ask him of Watson as one would ask after any other person's spouse? When Holmes had ceased to be self-contained, he became half of a whole. Now he was simply half. Holmes sighed sadly.
The door opened behind Holmes then. "Ahem."
Holmes sat up suddenly, seeing Watson's metallic frame in the mirror now. Broken from his reverie, Holmes turned around and watched an un-hatted and un-monocled Watson quietly enter with a smile. "All done," Watson sang pleasantly, brushing back Holmes's hair neatly again. "You look like a ruffian. An older Baker Street Irregular."
Holmes thought of cutting his hair. He swallowed. "Do you like your room?"
Watson grinned more merrily. "Why shouldn't I? It's my room. I do love the present you left for me, though."
"Your scent. Other traces of you, to be found by my medscan. Fingerprints and cloth threads on my bed."
Looking away, Holmes said wearily, "Perhaps it is time to retire to bed. You do sleep in bed, don't you?"
"Certainly." Watson chuckled as though Holmes had asked a silly question.
"Very well, then. Good-night." Holmes rose to go to his bed. Watson followed. Puzzled, Holmes turned. "Watson?"
"Have you everything you need for bed?"
"Yes," he frowned.
Watson turned. "Then good-night." He left, and Holmes observed that Watson turned out the lights in the other rooms as he went.
Fully shutting his door, Holmes changed into his sleeping attire and got into bed slowly, still frowning to himself in the darkness.
Abruptly, the door opened again, and Watson entered while Holmes sat up in surprise.
Watson came near and got into bed beside Holmes. "You lied," he stated firmly. "You didn't have everything you need. Until now."
"Watson!" Holmes continued to gape.
Sliding his arms around Holmes, Watson kissed his lips.
Holmes quite stubbornly struggled out of Watson's embrace, although Watson released him willingly enough.
"Yes?" Watson smiled.
Holmes glared, carefully holding his voice to a quiet level. "What on earth do you think you're doing?"
Watson laughed. "No more than I ever did, years ago."
Holmes frowned and averted his eyes. "You are mistaken. Misinformed. Some sort of compudroid malfunction..." he muttered with a sigh.
"I assure you, I am functioning quite normally." Watson traced his fingers down Holmes's shirt front. "Well, as 'normally' as possible since reading those journals..."
Holmes's face took on a look of painful focus. "Yes, those journals... from which you have obviously extrapolated the wrong conclusions..."
"Who needed to extrapolate?" Watson replied. "When our endearments and devotion are written on every page, even in my published stories? When my love for you, and your changes under my care, are plain as day?"
"Not so plain," Holmes insisted, looking disconcerted.
Watson shrugged. "Perhaps not so, to every eye. Not to generations of Lestrade's descendants intrusively reading through such heirlooms, but I had a need to make cryptic certain details for our clients, let alone for ourselves. So the veil of discretion defended us from the casual eye." He caressed gently at the collar of Holmes's shirt. "But to the informed eye, the mind that remembers our every unrecorded kiss and touch... could there be any doubt as to the loving history of us recorded in the tapestry of my private journals?"
Holmes pushed away Watson's touch again and shook the mesmerizing sound of Watson's voice from his mind. "You remember no such thing. You conjure it out of air, the way your predecessor used to romanticise his tales."
Watson was not discouraged. "Hmph. I well remember your complaints about my writing, too. Although I could make you take everything back, each night in bed." He smiled, "You were less prone to being unfailingly logical and dispassionate then."
Holmes remained cold, lifting the sheets and pushing futilely at Watson to get out of his bed. "I shall... report you to Lestrade, for... insubordinate behaviour."
"Why not just tell her that I tried to... presume upon you?" Watson easily pulled Holmes close into his arms again. As Holmes vainly fought to free himself, Watson blithely raised and kissed him just under his chin. Just the place where, over two centuries ago, Watson had left a tell-tale mark on their first night together. "Do you remember that?" he whispered.
Holmes's gasp told Watson that he did. He seemed paralysed from shock.
Watson smiled and began to bite, recreating the old mark, which, he recalled, had taken half an hour's worth of careful make-up for Holmes to conceal upon the next morning.
Holmes could barely blink. "I-- Watson! You--"
Watson made it very difficult for Holmes to speak, until he finished. He pressed his full advantage, thoroughly exploring the tastes and textures of Holmes's skin until the memories were fresh to both of them. Then he eased his grip on Holmes at last, withdrawing to gaze amusedly at Holmes's facial expression. Watson had always loved to surprise Holmes, however seldom he had the chance.
Laying there silently, Holmes struggled against believing his senses for several moments. At the same time he stared at the metal hands and arms which still loosely enclosed him, searching for some truth in which to ground himself. Holmes frowned with confusion, no longer capable of denials. "How--how do you know of this?" he barely voiced.
"I'm John Watson, of course," he answered happily. Watson leaned close and kissed Holmes's mouth.
Again, though he gave up on fighting, Holmes appeared exceedingly disturbed and confounded from recognition. All of this felt uncannily familiar.
Withdrawing, Watson waited for something other than disquiet and disbelief to touch Holmes's features, but no such response materialised.
Holmes averted his eyes and remained tense.
Watson realised that sensations alone would not work in gaining Holmes's acceptance. This would not be so easy. Watson sat back against the bed's headboard, giving Holmes some distance so that he might calm himself.
Holmes shrank away, folding his arms about himself.
Watson looked genuinely hurt by this, but said nothing. He shifted and reached over to brush Holmes's hair tenderly once more.
Holmes shook his head. "Don't." Turning to see the strangely human and amazingly real emotions on Watson's face, Holmes sat further apart from Watson, staring at him with the same baffled agitation as before.
Watson sighed and swallowed. "Holmes," he declared simply, "neither of us shall lie to ourselves. I do not ask you to do so at all. I am physically what I am, a compudroid. A machine with a distinct construction date and serial code number, who appeared to have no soul until a mysterious and unwitnessed encounter with a set of journals. I know this. I have accepted and become comfortable with myself as I am--"
Holmes wrinkled his brow questioningly.
Watson hesitated, then remembered his face, touching it. "--Except," he stammered, "except for modifications made out of my wish to kiss you, in just the way you remember."
Holmes bit his lip and shut his eyes, remembering the kisses.
Watson's face looked hopeful and tender again for a moment. He whispered, "You felt me in my kisses, didn't you? You knew me then."
Holmes shivered, shaking his head. "That was--someone else. Not you."
"But I am Watson, Holmes," he insisted. "I am. Not physically, but..."
Holmes would not listen, rising from the bed.
"Holmes!" Watson implored, following.
Holmes stopped and turned to glance back at him. Standing there, with that look on his face, Watson could look so real, despite what Holmes's rational mind told him. Holmes frowned sadly.
"Please," Watson reached for his hand. "I love you, as I always have."
Blinking, Holmes tentatively touched Watson's face--his elasto mask--with a baffled wonder. Holmes sharply withdrew his hand, though, startled at discovering how very real that skin felt, better than any material Holmes had once known to use in making masks and disguises. Holmes moved back and trembled. "Just the way I remember...." he spoke faintly, shaking his head.
Watson came near again. He drew Holmes close by the waist and kissed his cheek. "I'll show you, Holmes, I'll show you," he assured, "all about the mechanics. Every inner working and v-r chip I've got, if you must see how... But--but first, can you please believe me? Believe that I'm Watson?"
Holmes swallowed. "No. You can't be." Holmes urgently prompted for Watson to let him go.
Watson looked in his eyes. "You said just today that I was John Watson, inside."
Holmes resisted and found his voice with difficulty. "Not like this. Not--"
Watson finally released Holmes again, as he had become frantic now. Watson stood watching Holmes retreat breathlessly to the window and lean against the wall there. "Holmes," he pressed, "I knew who I was before you said that. I knew--I know--that this is true."
Holmes shut his eyes. "I don't believe you."
Watson sighed and sat down again on the bed, folding his hands. He whispered, "You think that I am just a character, or a mechanical error, or a mental delusion, or anything. Yet has it--has it ever occurred to you, Holmes, to consider that this transformation is not merely my having a freak malfunction in processing a quantity of journals? Has it never crossed your mind at all to believe momentarily that I may in fact be John Hainsley Watson?"
Holmes looked up for a moment, but became hopelessly unhappy, as if he or Watson were truly deranged. "Impossible!" He sank down to the floor, resigned to the thought that Watson simply was having some mechanical breakdown.
"Not impossible," Watson insisted. "For I am here now. I remember. It must be possi--" He sighed and shook his head, knowing he could not argue this way. "It's just very hard to believe or comprehend, I know."
Holmes would not answer, very quiet.
Watson frowned, but focused his resolve. "Holmes, don't you understand? It's fate. Our fate. I am linked to you."
Holmes did not appear to listen at all.
Watson came close and knelt beside Holmes, taking his hand. Then Watson did the only constructive thing he could do--tell a story. "Two centuries ago, Holmes, you were... unkind and unwise enough to leave me, to sacrifice our love and your life to defeating Moriarty and his kind. The sacrifice itself may have been necessary for the greater good, but you did all this without ever telling me the truth until you returned three years later." Watson shrugged. "Perhaps I consequently had too unfair a wish to practice a similar deception upon you tonight, now that I could, to make you feel a portion of that kind of grief."
Holmes reacted at last, sitting up and turning with sudden realisation.
Watson heartened, continuing, "Now, Holmes, after such a trauma to my heart all those years ago, do you think that I could let you out of my care ever again? If you are to be revived to live a new life, do you believe that I would let you do this without me? Do you believe that my spirit, whether in heaven or in some nameless chaos of vague and restless ether, would let you leave me so? ...There are such religions as believe in reincarnation, which I admittedly do not know much about. You would know more than me, from your travels. I realise that your rational, scientific mind may dispute such things as Conan Doyle's spirit world. I am no good at detailing a distinct philosophy that would answer all questions. It may be some celestial process far beyond the capability of the human mind to grasp or understand."
Holmes stared wordlessly at Watson with doubtful eyes.
Watson plunged on stubbornly. "I am not really concerned with explaining how, just with knowing that I am here." He shrugged. "So I have returned to you in the vehicle available to me. Why can't we just believe it and content ourselves not to have a word for it? --This is real, Holmes. How else do I know these things about us? How do I recall memories and feelings that I never recorded for fear of our reputations in the old days? How else do I know... how to kiss you," he moved closer, "and to touch you?" He kissed Holmes and clung to him with a lonely desperation.
Holmes slowly responded, embracing Watson in return. He still blinked with uncertainty, but caressed Watson's shoulder comfortingly. How queer, the way that Watson seemed to hold it stiffly as though injured, as though instinctively remembering. Holmes asked softly, "Mary Morstan--"
Watson nodded. "--Yes, I looked up information about her as soon as I first... remembered myself while reading my journals. After we told her we no longer had need for her services and gave her a dowry with which to start her new life, she settled in Boston in the States. She taught school for a number of years, and remarried happily. She had many descendants, who flourish even to this day."
Holmes held his breath for a moment, then pulled back to meet Watson's eyes again. He asked with wonder, "Watson? John?"
Watson's heart leapt, and he closed his eyes with a sigh as Holmes kissed him, most lovingly. They caressed and embraced each other as they had long ago, in another lifetime. The familiarity of their touches no longer disturbed Holmes, but aroused him.
Holmes's prior doubts melted away with Watson's warm kisses. "Watson," he ran his hands through Watson's hair.
Watson smiled and stroked his hands down Holmes's spine, remembering how passionately his back could arch, with the proper stimulation. Watson pressed Holmes up against the wall and began unbuttoning Holmes's shirt with his teeth.
Holmes moaned as his flesh was bared further and further to Watson's tongue. Holmes's arms could not quite reach around to touch the rest of Watson anymore, due to how Watson held Holmes and sat apart from him on the floor. Sighing, he watched Watson kiss and bite into his chest expertly.
Holmes fluttered his eyes hazily, confessing as he brushed Watson's face again, "do you know how I felt when I discovered myself in this place?" He shuddered, grimacing. "Revived and incomprehensibly young; strangers chattering to me about urgent missions, as if they were Mycroft needing my services for war; technical instruction on various changes to life in two hundred years--all these things thrust upon me... without you."
Watson raised his head and kissed Holmes's lips lightly, excusing with a shrug, "They didn't have me to join you, if they had even had the chance to remember..."
Holmes replied somewhat bitterly. "Have you? They barely had me. A random chance, of being preserved for the ages at all. Merely that I had wished to be buried beside your grave, but Mycroft clearly chose to avert the inappropriateness of that gesture by not burying me at all."
Watson widened his eyes, taking a breath. "You didn't mean to leave me!" Watson abruptly embraced and kissed Holmes appreciatively, having not uncovered that explanation himself, during his own research on that question.
Holmes shivered violently from the cold, unexpected touch of Watson's metal body against his exposed skin.
Watson pulled away quickly and apologised with a gentle kiss on Holmes's lips. "I'd forgotten," he frowned.
Holmes blinked and recovered slowly, betraying the first doubt he had had since he had placed his faith in Watson tonight. Holmes looked at Watson and assessed their circumstances with a realistic, painful disappointment. "You... were not made for this."
"Built," Watson replied, fully aware of his metal form. The balance between his heart and his body was a delicate one indeed, living in the past and the present at once. "No, not in my designs, certainly," he admitted. Watson kissed Holmes and whispered comfortingly, "I have considered this problem, already, Holmes, and have found that there are ways to overcome such obstacles."
Holmes wrinkled his brow, hardly daring to believe. "How?"
Watson started to caress Holmes's face with his hand, but this touch too made Holmes shiver away from his cold fingers. "I'm sorry, I--" Cursing, Watson shook his head and turned.
Holmes reached for Watson with anxiety, but then he saw Watson retrieve a black pouch that he had been concealing on his person.
Watson withdrew from the pouch two elasto gloves, which he slipped onto his hands. They were incredibly realistic, even having fingerprints marked on them, and they were indeed warm with body heat.
Holmes looked dubious while Watson stroked his bare skin tentatively. "Do you have a whole body in there?" he eyed the pouch.
Watson shook his head, pursing his lips. "No. I had enough excuses to make to Scotland Yard for these gloves being useful, should I ever go under disguise as a... non-constructed officer. They granted me a wardrobe of clothes for the rest."
Watson held Holmes close by his shoulders, carefully gauging his distance. He kissed Holmes and whispered into his ear, "I thought that, over time here, we both could seek out any other conveniences or methods within this century that could help us get closer to each other, as we used to be."
Holmes nodded, replying softly, "Yes." He stroked Watson's face. "We have time. We've always had time."
Reassured, Watson began to smile just a little again. "For tonight, then, perhaps we can just lie together, sharing your bed? I'll be careful."
Rising from the floor, Holmes returned with Watson to his bed. He nestled close to Watson beneath the bedcovers, and they continued to whisper together and kiss intimately. Holmes slid into Watson's embrace as if there were no particular reason why Watson shifted with great care not to crush Holmes or make him shiver. "Watson..." Holmes sighed, his eyes closed.
Watson asked, "Tell me how you knew what Mycroft had done."
Blinking, Holmes responded with a scowl. "I remembered personally giving him my instructions as I drew up my final draft of my will. He argued with me, but swore as my executor and brother that he would not have me buried anywhere but beside you. Hmph," Holmes snorted. "I sought out how Mycroft had circumvented me and found that he made no public mention of my request and simply had it proclaimed magnificently that, 'As Dr. Watson preserved Sherlock Holmes immortally in his faithful chronicles, the Holmes estate will now preserve Sherlock Holmes's remains for the ages as well, that they might be available for study or visitation by generations to come.' Calculated, underhanded drivel."
Watson calmed Holmes's bristling anger and murmured patiently, "He did so with brotherly concern. He only wished to protect us." Watson brushed Holmes's hair, smiling more brightly. "Despite his actions, it seems clear that we are meant to be together, whatever happens."
Holmes sighed heavily, "It did not seem so at first. Revived like a comical 'once and future king' to save England! I tried to play the part, half expecting to turn and find my knight also arrived to tread the path with me." Holmes winced, "But then I learned that though I was revived, nothing could be done for you, and I must endure this place without you, for--who knew how long they would keep me?" Holmes shook his head. "A world of new challenges and no well-worn companion to share it with? No partner by my side? As if any other person, however clever and assisting, could be the same as you?"
Holmes swallowed and averted his eyes, tensing uneasily. "And then, to find a most dissimilar machine dubbed with your name, as if in mockery of me..." Blinking and realising his insensitivity, Holmes bit his lip and looked up again with apology.
Watson only caressed Holmes and kissed him, whispering, "I understand. I was not myself then."
Holmes exhaled with relief and slid closer to Watson. "And now, you... here..." Holmes gazed deeply at Watson, his eyes damp in a rare display of his emotion. "My dearest..." Holmes kissed him.
Watson relished this moment, even as the mechanical side of him took a medscan on Holmes and found the detective's body coursing with a turmoil of hormones that had not quite settled down since his revival. The conflicts of an old man within a young man's body, not unlike those of a man within a machine, would need to be monitored.
Watson pensively laid Holmes back against the pillow to consider how blond and youthfully vital Holmes was, as he had not been in ages. Holmes had not had time enough yet to wear himself down to the familiar ascetic Bohemian that the public knew. Lestrade had commented to Watson on how it immensely irritated Holmes that, in his appearance at least, Holmes was unrecognisable to the public unless he continually deigned to wear the deerstalker. Watson smiled and decided not to mention that Holmes could look rather fetching in that costume.
Holmes blinked with annoyance, having unsuccessfully tried to read Watson's thoughts from his face, as he used to; Holmes's mind was too muddied just now. "What makes you so blissful, doctor?"
Watson laughed. "I am thinking of this as a second life together for us," Watson murmured, "a chance for me to love you again while you're still this beautifully young."
"Ah, sentimental romanticism. I should have known."
Watson pushed Holmes back and took the arrogance off Holmes's face with a forceful kiss.
Holmes grinned, purring deeply.
Watson bit into Holmes's throat in response. "And has your opinion of my romantic tales changed at all with time?" he chuckled. "Shall you warn me not to write of our new cases?"
Holmes quivered with a sigh, his senses quite on fire with this familiar teasing. He dizzily shook his head, too breathless to speak.
They kissed more deeply again, losing themselves and their caution in each other. Watson roughly tugged open the rest of Holmes's shirt with his hands and resumed nipping and licking Holmes's chest ardently, making him groan.
Watson further undressed and kissed Holmes's youthful body with a measure of some surprise. It had been quite some time since either of them had been at such an unwrinkled age. The memories came back readily enough, though, and Holmes repeatedly tried to touch Watson in places that Watson could not permit. This was certainly no time to spoil the mood and risk injury by allowing Holmes to brush the wrong control on this mechanical body.
"Watson," Holmes pled breathlessly.
Watson kissed him with regret and brushed his own hands through Holmes's hair again. "No."
Holmes sighed with disappointment. "I miss touching you."
Watson nodded. "There are things that I could readily do for you, though, tonight." Carefully distancing most of his body from Holmes, Watson started making love to Holmes with his warm mouth and hands.
Holmes attempted to reciprocate, but Watson refused again, holding Holmes's hands away.
After a moment more of Holmes's frustration, Watson stopped his caresses and rose from bed.
Holmes sat up and and reached after him.
"Shh," Watson assured Holmes. "I'll return. I have an idea." He smiled self-deprecatingly. "I'm the only person in the world who must get dressed to make love."
Holmes sank under the covers and waited while Watson exited to his own room for his clothes. Alone, Holmes wondered vaguely if Lestrade had been bright enough or even suspicious enough to have guessed the reasons for Watson's requests for a mask, gloves, and clothes. Heaven only knew what she or Inspector Greyson might do if they believed Watson to be engaging in such un-compudroid behaviour as this!
Watson returned then, wearing what appeared to be close-fitting pyjamas of an ivory color.
Holmes sat up and kissed Watson impatiently when he came to the bed again. However, upon putting his arms around Watson, Holmes discovered the very strange nature of the fabric covering him. "What is--?"
Watson stopped Holmes's query with powerful kisses, pressing Holmes back down upon the mattress.
Holmes breathlessly realised just how much heavier and stronger Watson was now, in this body. He remained pinned down while Watson took another taste under Holmes's chin.
"Dermal-weave," Watson whispered. "It clings and shields snugly; cushions and warms. It's the closest thing to a second--or only--skin." He invited Holmes to touch him, meanwhile grazing Holmes's abdomen with sweet kisses and nips.
Holmes explored Watson's shape, finding the subtle and not so subtle differences between this and his natural body. There were moments when the sleeves or collar would snag against the armoured body beneath, but then, mere clothing simply could not be perfect. They would seek out other solutions, as Watson had suggested.
They had time, tonight and other nights.